Karen A. Priest, of Fond du Lac, age 79, passed away peacefully at home with her husband by her side the morning of February 22, 2022, the exact same day as her mother passed away 12 years earlier. Wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, Karen will be deeply missed by all who had contact with her positive outlook and deep appreciation for all of God’s creation. Anyone that knew Karen knows the way she saw beauty in everything, and regularly exclaimed “How Beautiful!” Karen had a true tenacity for life and no matter what life planted her, she always bloomed with grace.
Karen Alice (Jirikowic) Priest spent the first 24 years of her life in the home of her parents, Wesley and Elizabeth (Liebergen) Jirikowic in Kaukauna, WI. In her early years Karen worked at Dick’s Drive-In and the Engineering Department at Giddings & Lewis Bickford in Kaukauna. Nyles Priest (Karen’s husband) worked for Giddings & Lewis in Fond du Lac, WI, but was assigned to get training on the machine tools built in Kaukauna. At lunch time Nyles was leaving the plant in Kaukauna to go to lunch and accidentally drove thru a puddle in the driveway. Karen and her girl friend were walking on the sidewalk when a huge scream occurred. Nyles pulled over to the side of the driveway and offered to wipe Karen’s stocking off and then have them dry cleaned. This was the start of a 55 year marriage that begun on June 4, 1966, between Karen and Nyles living in Fond du Lac, WI. Two wonderful children, Glenn Priest and Wendy (Priest) Weimer became part of the family as well as an exceptional daughter-in-law, Debra Walther and exceptional son-in-law, Jim Weimer. They were followed by 4 unbelievable grandchildren, Marisa, Ciera, Hali, and Josh.
Karen was born in Kaukauna on June 1, 1942, to the late Wesley and Elizabeth (Liebergen) Jirikowic. Karen graduated from Kaukauna High School. Karen married her loving husband, Nyles Priest, on June 4, 1966.
Karen worked for Montgomery Ward, Pranges, and Younkers. She volunteered her time as secretary at Pilgrim United Church of Christ as well as a den mother for Cub Scouts, all while taking care of her family.
Karen enjoyed spending time with her family. They were the most important thing in her life.
Karen enjoyed camping, birdwatching, gardening, travelling, bowling, music festivals, cooking, going to the casino and most recently casino games on her I-pad and an occasional trip to a cottage. Karen was an avid bowler for many years and frequently participated in bowling tournaments doing couples and single bowling with family and friends. Vacations with family and friends over 55 years of marriage included Japan, Arubu, Cayman Islands, Branson, California, Texas, British Columbia, Toronto, Montreal, and many winters in Frostproof, Florida in their motorhome. Renting a beach home in Clearwater, FL for the entire family was the highlight of all trips. Karen and Nyles also enjoyed camping yearly with family and friends at Runnings Campground in Rhinelander, WI, and attending the Hodag County Music Festival.
Karen is survived by her husband of 55 years, Nyles; her children, Glenn (Deb) Priest of Mauston, and Wendy (Jim) Weimer of North Fond du Lac; four grandchildren, Marisa, Ciera, Hali, and Josh; sisters, Carolyn (Leon) Biesterveld and Connie (Dan) Mc Morrow; brother, Ron Jirikowic; sisters-in-law, Judy Jirikowic, Carol Jirikowic, Betty (Pierce) Priest; many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
In addition to her parents, Karen was preceded in death by her father and mother-in-law Orvin and Henrietta Priest; brothers, Jack and Bill Jirikowic; brothers and sisters-in-law, Ryan and Nancy Priest, Eunice Jirikowic, Jack Pierce.
Visitation will take place on Sunday, March 20, 2022, from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM at Uecker-Witt Funeral Home. A funeral service will follow the visitation at the funeral home at 3:00 PM. Cremation has taken place. Interment will take place at a later date at Highland Memory Gardens, Beaver Dam, WI.
Services are in the care of Uecker-Witt Funeral Home, 524 North Park Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935. Additional information and guestbook can be found at ueckerwitt.com